One of South Carolina’s own will receive the nation’s highest military honor Thursday.
Gilbert native and Retired Marine Cpl. Kyle Carpenter was critically injured in November 2010 after using his body to shield a grenade blast from a fellow Marine. The incident happened while the pair were serving in the 1st Marine Division at a patrol base in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province.
Carpenter lost an eye and much of his jaw in the blast, but fought through 30 surgeries in more than three years to recover. He is now medically retired from the Marines and is a student at the University of South Carolina.
President Obama is scheduled to present the award at a Thursday afternoon ceremony. Gov. Nikki Haley and other dignitaries will also be in attendance at the event in Washington.
The 24-year-old Carpenter will be the first South Carolinian to receive Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War. He is only the second living Marine to be awarded the nation’s highest military honor since the start of the wars in the Middle East.
Carpenter was born in Mississippi, but his family moved to South Carolina when he was five years old.